Canterbury approaches Stokes in New Zealand
Canterbury have confirmed their approach in signing England all-rounder Ben Stokes on a short-term deal as the Durham star landed in Christchurch on Wednesday.
Stokes, who is currently awaiting an outcome of a police investigation into an incident in Bristol in September was put on hold from joining his England team-mates in Australia for the Ashes series and is currently on a 'private trip' to New Zealand as confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board statement.
The 26-year-old was greeted by his parents at Christchurch airport and was even questioned by the reporters on his possible link up with Canterbury but Stokes played down his visit.
“Just looking forward to seeing mum and dad,” he told reporters. “Just catch up with everyone I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Meanwhile, Canterbury coach Gary Stead said the decision of playing Stokes will be taken by the province's board.
“Ultimately, if our board says ‘no’, it won’t happen,” he told RSN927.
”But if we agree to it then we’re hopeful New Zealand Cricket (will) and it sounds like the ECB (England and Wales cricket board) have given an (no objection certificate) already.
”From my point of view I think if you get someone like that then let’s do it.
”We’re acutely aware that if this does get across the line there is something else obviously hanging over his head -- and that could happen at any stage.
“There’s no time period or time frame on that for us.”
New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson also welcomed the possible move of Stokes turning out for Canterbury.
“From a cricket point of view he’s a world class player and would add a lot of talent to the competition,” he told local media.
“If it improves the standard of the competition, which I‘m sure it will, then great.”
© Cricket World 2017